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Thread: No Ortega?

  1. #26

    Default Re: No Ortega?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    I am an ugly American, an all-too-obviously gringo. I have wandered Leon, Poneloya, las Penitas, and commercial spots in Managua for the past 4 months, day & nite. I felt no sense of danger or threat, no animosity from anyone. True, I avoid ghettos populated by punks and gang-bangers, as I do when I traipse around Philly - run-down areas that show little pride of place. (Rule of thumb: where would you take your 4-yr-old son?
    I'm glad that the touristy areas are still tame.

    Reading your response, it occurs to me that what I saw in Managua in April and May may have been restricted to Managua. I assumed that what I was seeing was nation-wide, but perhaps not. And, even if things got bad all over for a couple of months, it's nice to hear that chaos hasn't taken hold since then and that the county isn't in a state of war.

    I'm interested in the definition of ghetto. By U.S. standards, over 90% of Managua is ghetto, and there is no way for me to avoid it. By Nicaragua standards, ghetto means something else entirely. I realize that I am a bit crazy and that I have walked places where I shouldn't have walked, but even I have learned to avoid the areas that Nicaraguans consider ghettos... Unless I'm walking through one in the middle of the day on a heavily trafficked road...

    I considered the rule of thumb you posed: "Where would you take your 4-yr-old son?" I shudder to think about taking a young child along with me to almost everywhere that I go when I'm in Nicaragua. I don't go to touristy areas (except on the rarest of occasions), and everywhere I go I go on foot or I used buses. I've traveled with local children in the past--but I've never had to be the sole guardian/protector of those children. Their mother was always along to fill that role. Everything worked out fine, but then Nicaraguan mothers tend to be strict with their children. When I thought about a 4 year old, I imagined one of my sheltered and pampered nieces or nephews (as I have no children). The way I've experienced Nicaragua requires that I have my head on a swivel and that my nerves be on edge. I would only recommend that another capable adult attempt to experience it in the same way.
    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #27
    Viejo del Foro bikingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Ortega?

    In their defense the hydroelectric guy was carrying an AK despite all the reports of him entertaining the children in a clown suit

  3. #28
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Ortega?

    plus they thought he was a Cuban and were quite embarrassed when he wasn't.

    The Nica term is "pueblo bajo" or "barrio bajo" I forget its name but one in Esteli is east across a little bridge form the market. The situation is not as calm as some suggest, with arrests, firings and passive resistance such as boycotts. Both sides are trying to keep the body count down and avoid war. No immediate threat or hostility to people not involved in politics. People are welcome to live in their safest place in C.A/ next Costa Rica mode, except they don't have any tourists to pay the bills.

    Population reduction is going pretty well, but we will have to see the stats for this years remittances to see if it is really working. Nephew got a scholarship to study in Spain, Adios Nephew.
    Few Americans in sjds the other week, a handful of Europeans. Butt load of surfers in Playa Whatchacallit just north. No tourists in Cuzmapa Friday, just a beautiful view and a great road and hilltop park. Bring lunch.
    Crime is not spiraling out of control because neighbors are looking out for each other, people are staying in at night, etc. Yep, safer than Los Angeles if you have your head screwed on halfway right.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  4. #29
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Ortega?

    Hey drlemcor, sorry about such a tardy reply. I lost sight of this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    I'm glad that the touristy areas are still tame.
    Guess what: there are no 'touristy areas' in Nicaragua now, effectively. There are playgrounds, entertainment centers, get-aways, but no tourists. Lots of people, kids, families, but no tourists. (OK, a couple of pale-face visitors.) And they're fun, enjoyable places to be. (Except, of course, like MetroCentro Saturday afternoon where demonstrators seeking to overthrow the gov't clash with the too-green anti-riot squads, but even that wouldn't have interrupted lunch in Casa de Cafe.)

    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    I shudder to think about taking a young child along with me to almost everywhere that I go when I'm in Nicaragua.
    Nicaragua is so family-oriented, babies are practically revered and kids treated deferential. Walking with a kid is like carrying a white flag. A lone male stranger in a macho territory is viewed with suspicion or as a threat. Go with a kid and, I dare imagine, you could venture into some of the most hostile barrios anywhere in Nicaragua, without danger.

    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    The way I've experienced Nicaragua requires that I have my head on a swivel and that my nerves be on edge. I would only recommend that another capable adult attempt to experience it in the same way.
    I enjoy reading your accounts, but I've no thought to emulate your sojourns. I enjoy the Nicaragua I know and am continually discovering more & more.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  5. #30
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Ortega?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post

    Guess what: there are no 'touristy areas' in Nicaragua now, effectively. There are playgrounds, entertainment centers, get-aways, but no tourists. Lots of people, kids, families, but no tourists. (OK, a couple of pale-face visitors.)
    There were 3300 that disembarked at SJDS from a Princess boat this past weekend apparently - San Juanos seemed to be a bit miffed that most were heading out on excursions wiith the tour operators - Say $100 ppsn per excursion - more than 50% to the dynamic duo I would guess - The revolution made a good $200K when nick nacks and the like are figured in.
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  6. #31
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Ortega?

    Technically, I suppose, SJdS is a part of Nicaragua, albeit a CR-wanna-be, an extension of Guanacaste (that was, at one time, part of Nicaragua). It was developed by California realtors.

    I saw 'tourists' disembark from a Princess cruise ship at Puntarenas, CR. They scurried, well, waddled, back well before sundown, almost none venturing in more than a block from the waterfront, to their cabins and endless eat-a-thon. Frankly the town's not worth touring anyway. And many of the kitschy knick-knacks they bought from native operators were 'made in China'.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  7. #32
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Ortega?

    SJDS is a charming little town, but I wouldn't want to be there when 3300 peeple show up in mass! To bad we don't have a copy up north, although I hear they have made a beach park at Poneloya.

    Talked to the people next to me in the plane from vegas to miami. They were going for a mia-L.A. cruise by way of the Panama Canal and said they had a stop in Nic. They checked and the stop was in Corinto. I expressed my hope that they were going to be put on a tour bus to Leon or somewhere!

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


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